Chapter 31

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It had taken enormous self control from Rhenycyn to remain silent during the various testimonies. He was surprised at Setryv and sorry for Mharkhel. He expected no less from Vhyqyrd. Of Ellycyn, he felt anger over her treatment and sorrow over what she must be going through. He knew how she felt and shared much of her anger and frustration. But the Prince collected himself. His initial reaction was to threaten everyone present that if they did not immediately release him, they would themselves be subject to incarceration and investigation. But he realized that he was not in control here and a statement such as that would only enhance his appearance of guilt. Finally he answered, calmly, matter-of-fact. "After leaving the Assembly Hall, I went directly to the stables. I did not go to my father's room or anywhere else for that matter."

"Where did you go after leaving the stables?" Ptalp continued.

Rhenycyn looked over to where Fhyndhella sat next to her father. She looked like a frightened animal, her teary eyes pleading with Rhenycyn not to reveal their tryst. The Prince thought this one over carefully. If he told the truth, he would ruin Fhyndhella's reputation and, knowing her, she was likely to deny it anyway. She had nothing to gain by her admittance. If Rhenycyn was able to extricate himself from this predicament, Fhyndhella would no longer be an acceptable choice as a Queen, for it would be public knowledge that she would ascend the throne not as a virgin. If found guilty, her only link to the throne would lose his head. Even if she were to admit to being with Rhenycyn, it would not likely do anything in behalf of his defense. It might even be viewed as incriminating. "As it had been a somewhat difficult evening, I just wanted to relax and get away for a time."

"Again I ask you, where did you go?"

"Nowhere in particular," responded Rhenycyn. "Just riding."

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